Today is a rare occasion in the history of College Gameday. It is the day that they go off the beaten path and venture out from the realm of the FBS schedule and broadcast from an FCS location. Today’s edition came to you live from Fargo, North Dakota for the big matchup between the two-time defending FCS champions North Dakota State Bison (pronounced BI-ZON and DON’T FORGET IT) and the Delaware State Hornets. You might be saying “BUT COLE! WHO CARES ABOUT THE FCS?” and I say me for one. You might be saying “BUT COLE! WHY NORTH DAKOTA STATE?” and the answer is that this may be the most rabid college football fan base in all of college football. This is not an exaggeration and it is hard to explain unless you’ve seen it in person. This NDSU team went into Manhattan, Kansas and beat KState, and this “cupcake” game for KState drew the 2nd largest crowd in KState history. Having attended the FCS championship between the great Sam Houston State Bearkats and North Dakota State in Frisco, Tx, the Bison crowd outnumbered Texans no less than 3 to 1 IN TEXAS with a TEAM FROM TEXAS playing in the championship. They travel like none other, and if you saw Gameday this morning, you realize that surely most of the town of Fargo was at this broadcast of Gameday.
This crowd today had it all going on. The massive crowd was loud, rowdy, possibly drunk, and had some very quality signage. We had several strong contenders for sign of the day, including “I’m White”, “We’re not all married to our cousins”, and the Beef Cake sign below (which in my opinion is STRONG to QUITE STRONG).
However, this week’s sign of the week is undisputed, offensive, and the guy holding it is INCREDIBLY proud of himself for getting it on TV. We present it below without comment for your review.
Speaking of Sam Ponder, here she is from today. Jennifer enjoyed her outfit today. Great jacket, pants, and shoes. Jennifer expected the return of the boots from last season, but those haven’t made an appearance yet.
There was a lot of talk about NDSU’s program today. I had tweeted at Brad Edwards for his famous “Ask Brad” segment this very question, but never got an answer: Where would NDSU stack up against the FBS programs if they were ranked? Well he is a jerk-face and didn’t answer my question, but luckily we got our answer today. NDSU would be power-ranked 55 in the FBS, and would be a 32.5 point dog against Alabama according to those experts out in the desert. NDSU os 7-3 against FBS teams since 2007 and has beaten an FSB opponent for four years straight. Coach Craig Bohl did an interview with Sam Ponder and it seems like he really his act together. It is something special how confidently he and his players carry themselves against any and all competition. They seem to fear nobody and expect to play with anyone on any given day.
As the day rolled on, we once again did NOT see the return of David Pollack Using the Internet. This is highly disappointing, so please write angry letters to Gameday letting them know that we want more of David Pollack Using the Internet. The Chris Fowler $100 Question for today was “Who was the opponent when Arkansas played a game in the Northeast the most recently?” and the answer was Fordham. The $100 went unclaimed again. Gene W. had a quick piece which was a montage about great FCS players who went on to great NFL careers including Tony Romo and Terrell Owns and Jerry Rice and others. He said you can have the FBS players; he’ll take the FCS any day. Even an FCS fan like me would probably still take the FBS players Gene.
Tom Rinaldi did a segment traveling around Fargo to cover NDSU more in depth. There were three highlights. The first was the fact that Coach Bohl goes to EVERY high school in North Dakota that has a football program to recruit players whether or not the program is one of any significance or not. The second was Tom Rinaldi running around with a bunch of Bison. The third was that Coach Bohl does a kickass Lou Holtz impression.
We also unfortunately saw the return of “GENERIC QB TALK WITH QB GURU GEORGE WHITFIELD”. He talked about NDSU QB Brock Jensen and said he is good. Whitfield also wanted to remind you of how great his paying clients like Braxton Miller and Johnny Manziel are. I’ll say it again; this segment needs to go away.
Today’s edition also had a pair of Tim Tebow memorial emotional segments. Gene W. had a piece on UCLA freshman WR Nick Pasquale who died two weeks ago after being hit by a car while walking home. Apparently he was a scrappy young guy who had offers to play football at smaller shcools, but instead chose to walk on at UCLA. Against Nevada, his teammates campaigned for him to get into the game for a single play, which was the highlight of his career. His life was ended a week later. Coach Jim Mora Jr. had his parents speak before the Nebraska game about playing how Nick would have wanted them to play, and it inspired them to a tremendous comeback win over Nebraska. The most touching part was learning that his ashes will partially be scattered on the Rose Bowl field where he saw his only college play.
We got a Tom Rinaldi emotional piece about Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater and his mom. His mom was diagnosed with breast cancer while he was a star QB in highschool. Teddy offered to quit football forever, get a job, and support his mom while she underwent treatment. She wouldn’t let him, and after enduring treatment she is in remission and is now attending his games. She always thought he had a gift for football and didn’t want him to give up his gift for her.
The strangest moment of the year so far was experienced today when Chris Fowler busted out this little guy below. It is apparently the trophy awarded to the winner of the D3 Concordia/St. Olaf game. Bizarre.
Other highlights from today’s show include Lee Corso repeatedly criticizing Bo Pelini for “bitching” about his fanbase. He repeated the word “bitching” several times, and was warned that he is still on probation by the other guys from his famous SMU incident several years ago. We also saw the return of TODD MCSHAY LOOKIN’ AT THE TAPE!!! He looked at tape of FCS players and reminded us that some of these guys are good, including his #2 overall FCS prospect Tim Flanders from Sam Houston State. There was also a piece of Tom Rinaldi beatnik poetry about North Dakota entitled “Lonely”. He discussed the significance of the cosmic vastness of the open land in North Dakota, and included the incredibly deep line “We are dust….”. I feel like he probably just stays up the night before Gameday smoking pot while writing stream-of-consciousness poetry about the location.
Anyways, let’s get down to the business at hand. Today’s guest picker was former NDSU DB Tom Hansen. He came on and made some good picks and kept the energy of the segment going much better than Mark Harmon. No surprise; he went with NDSU over Delaware State. For the record, Billy the Cat also took NDSU too.
Who would coach Corso pick? It was never in doubt. NDSU is a big favorite in today’s game, and Corso wasn’t even on set when the pick was made. He came busting out of a local theater with the Bison head on pulling a live baby bison along his side. Jennifer called this one ahead of time saying he would show up with a baby bison, and I think Corso made the right choice. The Bison fans are not to be tested, and they would have run him out of town with pitchforks if he picked Delaware State. Enjoy your day!